Posted by Dr. Jim Klett, Professor and Extension Landscape Horticulturist, Colorado State University.
In the 2017 Annual Flower Trials we had over 850 different varieties entered from 22 participating companies. Initial evaluations were held on August 1, 2017 with close to 150 industry and advanced master gardeners participating. The second evaluation was held on September 8, 2017 with the Trial Garden Advisory Committee. It was a difficult task to come up with our “Best of Show in the Garden” for 2017 along with best new variety and best novelty plants. The winners include:
Best of Show: Calibrachoa CHAMELEON® Indian Summer Improved from Westhoff
The eye catching varying shades of red, rose, pink and yellow flowers on vigorous plants with exceptional flower power resulted in this Calibrachoa being granted the Top Honor in the 2017 trials. The flower of the CHAMELEON® series are selected for their ability to change color as environmental conditions change, which is evident with this selection. Plants maintained a uniform growth habit that enveloped the containers as a ball of flowers.
Best Novelty: Millet ‘Copper Prince’ from Pan American Seed
This plant is a great selection for the series and textures in a garden. The stout, large, fuzzy dark rose/bronze panicles rise high above the plant. The foliage has wide blocks with a uniform caramel/ copper color throughout the summer. This plant will create a very dramatic look in a landscape or large container.
Best New Variety: Lantana Luscious Royale Cosmo from Proven Winners
Plants were very uniform with a rounded habit and strong flowering all over. Flowers had a unique color and sat on top of the foliage. It is considered by some to be a new standard for the industry.
Some Other Outstanding Plants from the 2017 Trials:
Bidens ‘Blazing™ Fire’ from Danzinger-
The fiery orange, yellow and red flowers were very prolific and spectacular. The dense mounding habit enveloped the containers as a ball of flowers. Flowers opened up darker and faded to a nice yellow.
Calendula ‘Lady Godiva™ Orange’ form Proven Winners
New breeding has created this entry with superior heat tolerance and growth habit. The beautiful double flowers were a bright, cherry oranges with shades of apricot. Plant has great heat tolerance with flowers looking great late into August.
Dianthus ‘Rocking’™ Red from Pan American/ Keift Seed-
Rich, deep red flowers were prolific on the plants with strong stems creating an upright growth habit. The vivid flowers pop out against dark green foliage. This was a low maintenance plants that did not require deadheading to maintain a neat appearance.